Huntingdon gets first female bishop
The new Bishop of Huntingdon will be the first female bishop in East Anglia.
Canon Dr Dagmar Winter will take up the post when she is consecrated on July 3. She succeeds the Rt Revd David Thomson, who retired from his post in October 2018.
Dagmar will take the title Bishop of Huntingdon (a Suffragan Bishop), working alongside the Bishop of Ely, The Rt Revd Stephen Conway, across the whole Diocese which comprises Cambridgeshire, the western quarter of Norfolk, south Peterborough, and some adjacent parishes.
Dagmar said: “I am honoured and delighted to have been invited to become the seventh Bishop of Huntingdon. The Fens will be quite a different experience to the Northumberland Uplands for me and I can’t wait to meet people from the varied communities across the breadth of the Diocese.
I have a particular passion for rural and market town ministry, and I am impressed with the Diocesan vision and will to grasp the great opportunities there are.
Cambridge and its universities make a distinct contribution which I deeply appreciate and I hope to build further on relationships here.
There is a remarkable connection between Hexham and Ely: Etheldreda gave the land for the building of Hexham Abbey and in Ely she founded a monastery on the site which is now Ely Cathedral. I believe this legacy of generosity and prayerful commitment is rooted in the life-affirming, encouraging and inspiring love of God which we see in Jesus Christ, and I look forward to working with Bishop Stephen and many others to share this.”
The Bishop of Ely, the Rt Revd Stephen Conway, said: “I am so thankful to God that our process of discernment has given us Dagmar Winter to be the next bishop of Huntingdon. Her gifts and experience in ministry are a splendid match with our role description and our ambition to be fully alive. She is first and foremost a fine pastor.
I admire what she has contributed both locally and nationally to the Church’s engagement with rural life. Her talents as a theologian and biblical scholar will bring real benefits to us and to the College of Bishops. I am praying for our visible and generous ministry together as bishops within the established team serving the Diocese.”
The next Bishop of Huntingdon will be consecrated on Wednesday, 3rd July at St Paul’s Cathedral in London.
Dagmar is of British and Swiss-German descent and studied theology at various universities including Aberdeen and Heidelberg, where she completed a PhD in New Testament studies.
She served her title from 1996 - 1999 in Bromley, Rochester Diocese, before becoming Associate Vicar and Deanery Training Officer at Hexham Abbey. From 2006 she was Rural Affairs Officer for the Diocese of Newcastle, as well as Priest-in-Charge of a group of rural parishes in Morpeth Deanery, Northumberland. 2015 saw her return to Hexham as Rector.
Dagmar has been a member of General Synod since 2005, has served on the Rural Group and the Mission and Public Affairs Committee of the Church of England, and is currently on the Meissen Committee. In her rural role she has chaired a community-led rural development funding programme for the Northumberland Uplands, and in Hexham she has been involved in setting up a Community Bank. Since 2012 she has been on the Bishop’s Senior Staff as Bishop’s Adviser for Women’s Ministry.
As time allows, she has continued to make contributions to academic discourse and furthering the understanding of theological issues in today’s context. Her interests include walking and running, especially with her lurcher, Tilda.
As Bishop of Huntingdon, she succeeds the Rt Revd David Thomson who retired from his post in October 2018.